MNT's Pocket Reform modular mini laptop coming soon with ARM-based processor options and a 7-inch display
Mini laptops that double as handheld gaming consoles are becoming increasingly popular these days thanks to Chinese makers like GPD and One-Netbook, but most, if not all of the mini laptops released thus far employ Intel or AMD processors that may not be too budget-friendly at times. A more affordable solution that combines upgradability with reusability is now presented by MNT Research - the team behind the Reform modular laptop. Dubbed the Pocket Reform, MNT’s upcoming 7-inch mini laptop offers a modular design that is powered by an upgradeable ARM-based processor along with open source hardware components and software.
The standard configuration of the Pocket Reform includes the NXP I.MX8M Plus processor with 4x ARM Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.8 GHz and a Vivante GC7000UL GPU which can be complemented by 4 or 8 GB of DDR4 RAM. MNT also offers more powerful options:
- NXP Layerscape LS1028A (2× ARM Cortex-A72, 8 or 16GB DDR4, Vivante GC7000UL GPU)
- Raspberry Pi CM4 (via Adapter, 4× ARM Cortex-A72, 8GB DDR4, VideoCore GPU)
- Pine SOQuartz RK3566 (via Adapter, 4× ARM Cortex-A55, 8GB DDR4, Mali G52 GPU)
- FPGA AMD/Xilinx Kintex-7 (for industrial use, RISC-V SoC possible)
One small downside of this model is that the chassis is not exactly compact with a 4.5 cm profile, but at least it is recyclable and it also packs a keyboard with mechanical switches, as well as an optical 10 mm trackball with 4 buttons. Display-wise, the Pocket Reform integrates a 7-inch panel with 1080p resolution and 310 ppi, plus it features a micro HDMI video output that supports 4K feeds. Port selection features 2x USB-C (one supports power delivery) and an industrial GbE jack. For storage, MNT offers 128 GB eMMC, a microSD card reader and an NVMe SSD vacant slot for up to 2 TB capacity upgrades.
Other features include a mono speaker, support for headphones via USB-C or Bluetooth, Wi-Fi + BT 5.0 module with optional 5G modem + micro SIM card, and an 8000 mAh battery. By default, the mini laptop runs Debian GNU/Linux, but users can also install Arch, Ubuntu and Void distros.
No info on pricing or availability for the time being, but MNT Pocket Reform will enter an early beta program soon.